tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 4, 2013 5:00am-7:01am EST
>> what the professor said is accurate or would help the members of standing. you have to win elections. getting democrats to care about this issue when there's a democratic president and getting republicans to care about these issues when there's a republican president and right now i don't know if anyone who is watching this at home has noticed, but all five democratic members of the committee have left the room. i think they left 20 minutes, three and a half hours into the hearing. they are obviously not as interested in this. >> i think that one of our problems here is that we have a president right now but isn't willing to work with congress. i think that is -- we just had a democrat walk in. i retract my statement. my apologies. i talked to a constituency that worked for the bush white house and who's job it was to lobby with congress and i met with somebody from the obama administration exactly twice in
three years and i do think it is the president's duty to engage. i have a question on that, but i'm out of time. i do think there's a disappointed with the president not being engaged. >> they are concerned about the executive power. when the executive is a republican. >> each party needs to care about these issues a lot more when they are owned, someone from their own party occupies the white house. >> my time is expired. i will give it back to you or your. >> thto. >> the chair will recognize the gentleman from tennessee. >> i have missed some of this hearing although i caught some of it on the magic of video television. i was interested in the gentleman that mentioned the possibility of impeachment. is that accurate? >> i can't remember if i brought
that up. >> what context would you have brought that up? spit in response to a question. i'm not sure if i did or -- >> can someone on the panel refresh his memory? >> i think i brought up a constitutional amendment convention. i agree that congress can use to restrain the executive. >> constitutional amendment you suggest we should have convention quite. >> the question i was asked is that people can restrain the executive i offered that as one way. >> that's never been done before, has it? >> not that i'm aware of. >> anybody else on the panel have any thoughts about impeachment? >> we have been asked several times questions about possible remedies if we find that a president is behaving lawlessly
i've not said that this president has or that these examples rise to that level but the ultimate constitutional check on the president is impeachment and ultimately the election. >> nobody has suggested that impeachable offense. nobody here thinks that, right? do you mr. cannon? >> well, i don't know. as professor rosenkranz minchin, an important element is whatever crimes or misdemeanors that he's committed were committed knowingly. and whether there is a pattern of abuse of his office. in my testimony you will see that finally out a pretty consistent whereby president obama has ignored and try to rewrite portions of the protection of the portal care act. and i think that the most
egregious of these is the one where he has -- he's implementing it in a way such that he is taxing and borrowing and spending over the next ten years. $700 billion that congress never authorized. now he may disagree with my interpretation of the law. i know mr. lazarus does. i know that you and i and mr. lazarus would all agree that a president were trying to tax and borrow and spend them hundred billion dollars without authorization tha that may be impeachable. >> does anybody think that the actions of going into iraq without actual knowledge of weapons of mass destruction or anything else would have been an impeachable offense? esther lazarus, you seem to be nodding. >> this regard the nod. i was very upset about that whether it is an impeachable and the decision congress would have to make.
mr. turley? >> the issue does come closest for both president obama and president bush created the reason i do not think that it rises to that level is because iof the court's decisions they have made this feel like such of a mass. first of all, by the judicial and then not reviewing it it's very hard to maintain the offense when you have that degree of ambiguity. i do not belief that ambiguity is in the constitution. i believe the president obama violated the constitution of libya, for example. but because of that history and precedent they can claim that they were acting in a reasonable interpretation of the law. >> i congratulate you and i yield back the balance to. >> i have to be careful how i respond to that.
i will now recognize another gentleman from texas. >> thank you chairman. i disagree with you on that republicans are only concerned about executive abuses when democrats were in control three i personally don't like any executive abuses that are who the president is. and i think that our executives have gotten out of control over the last several executives not to mention the judicial branch that i served in for 22 years. i think it has exceeded its boundaries of the constitution. they were talking about the executive branch. the constitution if i remember correctly, the executive is the legislative branch. that would be congress. third is the judicial branch. my understanding of the writers of the constitution they put the most important one first. at least important last because
we are selected and the guys on the other end are forever. in the middle is the executive branch. the president said that we are not a banana republic. there's a lot of definitions but my view of the banana republic is a lawless country. we are proud of the fact of the united states we are a country of the law, not people. but yet, we are in a situation where it means different things to different people and it is not enforced. like many have said, back home in texas they just don't understand where the president gets the authority to do some of these things without congressional intervention. i agree with the people that i represent. and they are from both parties. they are not just republicans. they say how can he do that? if i hear that once i hear it a hundred times. how can he do that? and what are you going to do
about it, congressman? we have had some discussions about those things. we know the subjects were people questioned where the president has authority. let's spend one moment on one issue. obamacare according to disagree in court is a tax. the president has used the law and has said i'm going to postpone that tax for this group first, big business. and i'm gointhen i'm going to pe attacks for six weeks for individuals. and then i'm going to postpone a year for small businesses. he's postponing taxes. since i have no life i have read obamacare. i do not see that in there where the president is getting the authority to postpone attacks, but he doesn't. if he has the legal authority to do that, which i doubt, what is to prevent him from going and looking at the irs code which is
a mess. i don't know any american who thinks the code is a good bill. but rather than fix if we just make it bigger every year. so the president goes to the irs and says this group of businesses they are just having a bad year. or we can use the energy companies on the other end. i'm just going to postpone this paying income tax for a year. why? because i said so. or i will take this group and do something similar. rather than pay 38% of your just going to pay 20% for the next year. it seems to me that he has the authority to amend the taxes which the affordable healthcare tax is according to the supreme court what is to prevent him from just amending the any tax to his liking.
mr. turley weigh in on this if you would. >> i have to agree first of all oon the remark about article on, as i said before it is true that they are all equal branches, but the framers spent most of their time on congress because it is something harder than the madisonian system. it's where the magic happens and that is to take those interests that the strike countries and turned them into a majoritarian compromise. when we get to the issue of taxes, that is one of the most divisive issues facing the country. so when someone comes before the congress and says i want my group to be excluded, it obviously produces a great deal of heat. some people say how about my group, how long should this apply? it is the most divisive issue raised in congress and that is why it was given to the congress so that type of issue would be
subject to the transformative process of the legislation. >> so do you belief that that would be unlawful constitutional acts oact of the president stard amending the tax code on his when? >> yes i do. >> let ask you another question if i may. you mentioned remedy. what about the remedy what is why in any situation where congress thought the executive had enforced the law? >> it can be difficult if you are trying to use it against the president that you can challenge some of these decisions. if it is violating the pa for example, you can go if you have standing to do so those are a long process and that is one of the things that i intend to get off the train at least one of my colleagues. this is not an epa issued this
is a constitutional issue. if the president is usurping the authority of congress to say that this is just something that we leave to the agency i think misunderstands the severity of the situation. >> i yield back. >> i want to thank all of the witnesses for an excellent hearing and a great discussion. on what i think is one of the most important issues facing the country today. i want to also thank the members are very strong participation in today's hearing. that means the witnesses had to stay may be a little bit longer than originally they thought they would but that only means that you cut the upper committee talks through and think through and debate this issue even more extensively. thank you all for your participation. this concludes today's hearing. without objection all members will have five legislative days to the questions for the witnesses were additional materials for the record into this hearing is adjourned.
then the recent launch of -- "politicogazine " magazine. >> from age eight, betty ford suck -- doted toi& something with the dance. she did skits and plays and that led to bennington, vermont. these are some of her notecards. this is her organizer. her toried this with vermont, back to grand rapids, york where she andied with martha graham work for the powers modeling agency, and then back to grand
rapids again. you will find a whole host of things that you would find in just about any organizer. brochures on dance costumes. costume for one of the dance routines she wanted to put on. here are choreography notes that she made for different dance routines. there was a whole wealth of material that talks about her love for dance and how deeply ,he was involved in a especially in her early years. >> watch our program on betty on c-spanspan.org or at 7:00 eastern. gina mccarthy will travel to onna next week to work climate change negotiations.
her upcomingut trip at the center for american progress this week. >> we go now to the center for >> good morning everyone. i would like to welcome you to event with gina mccarthy. we are really honored and thrilled to have the administrator here today to speak about this important effort ahead of her trip to china next week. we recognize that u.s.-china cooperation on the environment is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, carbon pollution, for our country and the world. we are particularly excited to have her here. this is the first time administrator mccarthy has spoken here at cap, and we are excited to have her here.
president obama released the climate action plan. we at cap applaud the effort and recognize its critical goals. it is critical for the u.s. and the world that we embark on this effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to prepare the united states for the impacts of climate change, and to lead this international effort to combat climate change. we believe these efforts will ensure the u.s. grows economically, will create jobs, and will also meet the important challenge of reducing -- reduction in greenhouse gas admissions by 17% by 2020. we hope this event today highlights the importance of china as a key partner. combating global climate change is not something that the u.s. should tackle on its own.
that is why we are excited about this u.s.-china engagement. we have been able to see firsthand that the epa is doing amazing work there on environmental production and climate change. many americans do not recognize the critical role that is already playing. everyone in china faces pollution challenges. the newspapers have shown the challenges that that country is facing. challenges we faced in the past and have taken on, and it is critical that china does as well. but the headlines do not always reveal, as the epa has workers working in the nation, working with chinese ngos, to advance the challenge. -- to help address those challenges. working to share some of the best practices we have established here. i believe these efforts will come more to light as we begin
the trip. it is my honor to welcome administrator mccarthy. she has led an impressive career in service, holding numerous positions in government, previously the administrator for the epa office of pollution. she has also served as a deputy secretary for the massachusetts office of commonwealth development and undersecretary of environmental affairs. there could not be anyone better to take on this critical mission. today.come her here -- i welcome her here today. afterwards there will be a q&a with carol browner, a distinguished fellow, and who also held the same position in the clinton administration. we look forward to those remarks. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. it is great to be here. thank you for the introduction. also, thank you to my friend
carol browner for taking care of the easy things and leaving me with a more complicated work. thank you for your years of service. you do tremendous work at epa. first, i want to congratulate everyone at cap. i understand you are 10 years old. congratulations on the anniversary. it is an incredible achievement to be the place where the best minds come to work and look at opportunities or how we can get together and take action on opportunities to strengthen our country. it is great to be here. i cannot thank all of you enough for the work you are doing on issues like climate change that go to the heart of asking ourselves the question of what kind of a country, and what kind of a world, do we want to leave to our children and grandchildren? these are big issues, and i am glad to be here to talk about them. certainly, i want to get to the answers and to some discussions with carol.
let me keep my remarks brief. i have dedicated my life to protecting the environment. i see no greater issue and no greater urgency to public health and climate change. -- van climate change -- than climate change. climate change is not just a public health and safety issue. i consider it to be one of the greatest economic challenges of our time as well, which is why i am really looking forward to the trip, and why i was very excited in the summer when president obama spoke so eloquently and so comprehensively about the urgency to act on climate change, when he spoke at georgetown university. it was a speech that i had been hoping for, a president for many years, and i was so proud that it was our president. he showed enormous courage and enormous strength, as well as, he challenged us all to not just acknowledge the science of climate change, to understand
that it is real and happening, but to also charge the cabinet to take immediate action. call me biased, but i believe it was his best speeches so far, although he is not done yet, i'm quite sure. he walked through his climate action plan as well, which outlined some common sense, pragmatic steps that the epa and other agencies across the administration are now taking to cut carbon pollution, invest in clean energy, to help our cities and towns build in more resilient ways so that they can add depth to a changing climate and keep our communities safe, but also to prepare to be a broader and more vocal leader on the issue of climate change in international discussions. as you know, in september, epa proposed urban pollution standards for new power plants using our authority that congress gave us under the clean
air act. those power plant labor relations regulations are proposals that would impact new facilities being constructed. this would ensure any new facilities from this point forward would use modern technologies that are available to reduce carbon pollution. epa will also next june be proposing new standards that will also provide significant flexibility to the state that will effectively protect public health from carbon pollution from the existing power plants. that will be an opportunity to reduce the current levels of carbon pollution emitted by power plants and put us on a path for domestic energy, clean energy generation, and innovation. throughout the process of both looking at those new power plants, and most importantly, at the existing plants, we have
conducted what i think is the most vigorous outreach and most comprehensive outreach program that you can imagine, well in advance of putting any pen and paper down in terms of a proposal, which is not due until next june. we held 11 public listening sessions, have been meeting with anyone who wants to talk about this. i welcome continued dialogue, which you can send into the epa. the most important thing, we got 3,000 people who came to us, who came to us speaking their mind, and also speaking from their heart. it was a great experience for them and from the great folks at epa, who worked tirelessly on this issue and got to see firsthand and relish in the democratic process, listening to people.
i want to thank the folks at epa each day. let's move on to what is next. we are going to continue to take the lead in implementing the president climate action plan. we have authority to do it, we are charged with responsibility to do it, and we will meet that challenge to address the action item in the report and the plan, as well as continue to engage our international partners. it is all about reducing carbon pollution, adapting to a changing climate, and it is all about the united states playing a leadership role in international discussion. climate change is a global issue, we need global action. we will do our part and launch further discussions. i am really excited to be going back to china.
the u.s. and china represent the world's largest economies, the world largest energy consumers, and the world's largest emitters of carbon pollution. i would rather not be the largest energy consumer or the largest emitter of carbon pollution, but since we are, we are going to get together and talk. we know there is economic competition between the two nations. that is healthy. but we do share the same climate and the same level of concern about a changing climate. i think we are well positioned to begin work together in a more concerted effort to move forward, to build on what i think of as 30 years of significant cooperation and partnership between our countries already. let me highlight the fact that one of the opportunities when i go to china is to build on the fact that epa and the ministry of environmental protection in
china have had a deep and strong relationship. they know they are facing á1m they have known that for some time. we know that as well. for the past 15 years, we have been working with them in depth on working to address their air quality challenges. it is now very clear to china and the u.s. that action must happen, and it must happen quickly in china. this is not just about china. it is also about air quality in the united states and other countries. we know pollution is emanating from china and heading into our west coast. we know mercury emitted in china goes up into the atmosphere and is redeposited in our rivers and streams, where we rely on food and recreate. we also know public outcry in the 1960s and 1950s led to
significant change in the united states. we know that it led to significant laws being enacted. we know that it led to a significant increase in the infrastructure in government from local to state to national levels that allowed us to address that public outcry, and to deliver significant protections through the great works of many administrators before me, including carol browner. china also is facing significant public outcry. they have significant challenges that they need to address. but the good news is, we have been there before. the u.s. has faced these challenges. we have faced them well. we have faced them over time. we know the technologies are available. we know what planning can do. we know there are many ways, if you chew can engage your states, and in china's case, provinces,
to bring a state of urgency to this issue. we will be working with them to work on these air quality challenges, moving forward. they have established some very ambitious goals. not only for air quality, but also for climate. we believe they can learn from the lessons of the united states i%iu1%qe challenges, which are of paramount importance to them now, and do it in a way that they can continue to build a clean energy economy. they do not have to think singularly about air pollution and climate. they can rather think about those issues together and develop plans that will accomplish both. our goal in making this trip to china is to continue to support them in their meeting their air pollution challenges.
we have established, strong working relationships. we have established access -- success already on the ground looking at technologies. we are going to be meeting not only with the mep, but also with the folks in china who deal with climate change. we are going to try to bridge that gap. just as we are a bureaucracy, they have theirs. i really want them to learn our lesson and to think about how they can address both challenges apprehensively and creatively, in a way that continues to build a clean energy economy. not just for them, but working in concert with the u.s. and rest of the world. there are good things that we can do together and i remain very old. hopeful. i will end by saying one of the reasons i am so hopeful is because i know what we have been able to accomplish in the united states. i know the types of technologies
u.s. companies produce, that i will be looking at in china, that they are now using to monitor air quality in beijing, to give the people in beijing real-time information about their air quality. that is success moving forward. that is success for the u.s., and that is a building block for china, that will get them moving forward in leaps and bounds, which is frankly, what needs to be done. so i do remain hopeful. i know that, in the united states, for every dollar we have invested in the clean air act, we have recouped four dollars to eight dollars in economic benefits. if we can convince the chinese that our continued relationship is worth that investment, then we will all reap those benefits together. i think i should end there and thank you all for allowing me to
be here. let's start the conversation and, again, congratulations to cap for 10 years. i look forward to what you will do. you have been pretty good so far. thank you very much. [applause] >> welcome. it is fun being administrator, right? it.ou know i do not know if it would be fun for eight years. >> the great thing was that you got to start and finish things, which is hard in a shorter tenure. i want to spend a few minutes talking about the jobs probably and then we will go to china and then some domestic. i want to remind people we are taking questions from the audience. what you need to do is if you please indicate your name, organization, write down your
question, we will collect those and do our best to get through as many as possible. we do intend to take questions through the notecards. please write down your questions. you have been there six months now? >> not quite, but i took that little hiatus from government. >> we had a few in my day, too. what is the thing that surprised you the most about the job? >> carol, you know, i spent the past four years in the air program. it was so busy there, i had never enough time to understand the breadth of work that epa does. every day i learn something new that epa does. as an aa, i should never have been surprised by the breadth of work that epa does.
one of the challenges we face is telling the epa story more directly. -- a little bit more effectively. resources continue to be challenged more and more. congress continues to challenge us, especially on the house side. i really want epa to maintain its stature that it has internationally and with the american people, of being the best science agency that knows how to turn the science into real life improvement for american families. we are not telling that story effectively. >> one of the greatest challenges i faced, and in some ways, the government shutdown helped to tell the story. it allowed us to tell the story that we are the environmental cop on the beat. it is interesting that the story be told over and over. >> the challenge we have now,
most people do not see the environmental challenges the way they used to, because we have been very good at the work we have done. that does not mean that everyone is breathing clean air. it does not mean that we do not have tremendous sites being added every day. we have significant challenges with every industry sector to figure out the next level of technology improvement needs to be to reduce toxic emissions that folks in urban and environmental justice areas are experiencing. we have climate change. it is a challenge to remind people in a way that used to be so visibly apparent to them. it is still necessary. >> as the head of the air office, you did a number of hugely important things. the mercury rule is now in place. unfortunately, we did not have an administration who shared the view of mercury as a neurotoxin.
you must be thrilled that we now have that on the books and we are starting to see some closures of power plants. >> i am proud of it. everyone at epa is because it was a difficult role to get done. rule to get done. this transitpin the energy sector that has been going on since the abundance of inexpensive natural gas -- we had to see what was happening in the industry to understand that the time was right and that we can do this in a way that was consistent with the way in which energy will be generated. it was very clear at that point, there were a number of old coal facilities that were essentially uncontrolled, 70 years old, no one ever anticipated that they would still be around.
it made it easier and more cost beneficial to move that rule now. we knew that those facilities were not being called upon, they were not generating, they were hanging onto them and using them in some cases in spinning reserves, when you want the best and cleanest technologies available. it provided an opportunity for us to set a reasonable standard. the way it has played out, because of the changes in the energy market, provided a decision point that would provide much more reductions than we ever would require under that rule. >> this is one of the interesting stories of the history of the epa, regulation focused on a public health issue, minus the impact. once embraced, it has the impact of stimulating solutions and ingenuity which were hard to imagine in the first instance.
now there is another fuel that has become available, but you start to see the opportunities of regulation. >> we should probably also mention that renewables are also getting much more mature, getting to be integrated much more effectively into the energy market as well. since the beginning of this administration, we have doubled the amount of electricity generated from renewables. it has been a great opportunity to have a clean natural gas cycle, to build it into the energy infrastructure in a way that makes sense. it is a wonderful opportunity from a public health and epa perspective to be able to align with that and get our public health improvements that the clean air act anticipated. >> you talk about the president's climate action plan. one thing that does not get a lot of attention and something that i was impressed with as a former administrator, you got sort of an insurance policy. the president signed a memorandum of understanding.
i never had president clinton telling me to do something in advance. i always hard to argue why i was doing something and then i have to argue how much i was doing. you do not have to argue about whether or not you will be setting standards on carbon emissions. pretty exciting stuff to have this kind of memo there backing you up. >> maybe you had a tougher row to hoe then i will have. my job will be to deliver what the president has told us he will deliver. for me, it is a remarkable opportunity. i could not have started in any other way that had me better positioned at epa to get done the things that we think has been essentially necessary for this country for a long time. it is great to have your boss smarter than you. >> leading the way. one of the things we have in common, we both ran state agencies.
part of how the carbon standards will play out is the states will have to step up. we could have this entire meeting in acronyms, so we will spare the audience that. state implementation plans. how do you see that unfolding? the epa is at the crux of this. as a former state agency head, i know that is not always easy to do at the state level. >> it is not, which is one of the reasons why we have started such a robust process. it is focused in the region that have relationships with all the states. we are seeing engagement from the states, right out of the gate on this issue. they are taking it enormously seriously. that is one of the values of the president going out in front and speaking with such definition on this issue. there is federal leadership that has been necessary, and so we are engaging the state from the get go.
what we have to do essentially is epa has to look at establishing guidelines that the states then turnaround and develop plans that are reasonable and appropriate for them. maintaining the aggressiveness we are looking for for carbon reductions. i have seen the states engaged on this issue, carol. we are going to be very flexible in the implementation of the standard. the questions we are asking in the comments is, how do we better than standard, looking at facility by facility? how far can we go and still be legally solid with the rules so that it holds up when it is inevitably challenged? but also do it in a way that states can get more reductions in carbon at lower cost than they might have done in a more traditional way. we are going to open that up and give lots of opportunities for states to align themselves
regionally. one of the things that i did in connecticut was the regional greenhouse gas initiative. new england states and mid- atlantic states, it was exciting. it was an opportunity to develop significant funding for energy efficiency, to keep demand low, and to deliver real cost savings to consumers. at the same time, it kept the lights on and reduced carbon significantly. those are the kinds of things -- california did this with ab 32. the states are the leaders. i do not need epa to tell them what to do. i need epa to set the charge and allow them to be doing the things and building on the successes that we have already had, and to broaden that success way beyond the coastline and make sure it makes sense for every state.
>> maybe we can take a moment to make sure the audience understands the process. it is fascinating, the degree to which the president memorandum makes sure that this is all buttoned up under this president, which is no small task. you will propose for existing power plants in june. >> we will complete the year after that. >> both new and existing? >> that is to be decided. there are some statutory constraints. on the new plant facilities, it sends a long-term signal. frankly, on the new sources, we rely heavily on carbon capture and sequestration to establish a coal standard. that is what is being invested in now. there is no rush to complete this. we want as much consideration as we can. the challenge will be the existing. you put it out, and then the states have to come in with a plan one year from when we finalize --
>> the hope is finalizing in june 2015. >> correct. >> then they come back to review them. >> then we have to approve them. the state plans themselves have to have the infrastructure in place to achieve the standards. so it is not a -- i plan to do 4r>s. this is what we are doing and what we have done. the states are at the table now. they seem to be positively engaged. we will work with them and hopefully they will find ways of working together so that they would do exactly what we did with the mercury rule.it will set a reasonable standard and then doubled down on it. >> right. it is exciting. if the state does not write a plan, what happens? >> than the federal government
takes over and writes the plan ourselves and we do a federal plan, done by rulemaking. >> one of the things, i do not know if it is true in this, because there are a lot of sections and i had great fun for eight years, and had a full run at it, and you are now able to use it to deal with the greatest threat we have ever faced, the threat of climate change, but the way i used to think in the sections i dealt with, in some ways, congress was very wise and gave the states more options for how to achieve reductions than the fed -- is that a fair way to think about it, that they have -- some greater flexibility in the solutions might be. >> it is why we are having this dialogue, to send a clear signal that we really want the states
to step up and develop the plan. it is not the intent of the federal government to take over their duties, but if they do not perform as they are required to, we will be forced to do that. we will do the best we can, but nobody would be better to design this in a way that made sense for their own consumers and energy mix than the states themselves. >> so, step back for a second. you complete all of this work and have done cars and trucks. we are already seeing the benefits of the fuel efficiency standards, greenhouse gas standards, that the obama staff did with you. i was honored to be a part of that. if you buy a car today, it is more efficient. we are seeing the benefits of that. you have cars and trucks and these power plants. 40 years from now, what does it look like? we will still be around 40 years?
the nursing home, but -- >> i am trying to think of how much has changed in the past 40 years, just about everything. i think what we are trying to do, the challenge is really long-term to look at how you move away from fossil energy. that is really the long-term challenge. thankfully, epa's tool is related to pollution. it is a lot easier for me to get our hands around. hopefully, in the future, you will see opportunities for renewables and strategies. i think you are already seeing very different patterns of living today than we ever had before. i think china is a reflection of that. you are seeing the middle class loom in china and with that, urban dwelling is happening. one of the reasons why the administration got together and is developing joint grant programs to work with communities is because we recognize that even bringing
energy and environment together is not enough. you have to look at transportation and housing. it is a whole different way of looking at how you make the world more sustainable and live within the natural resources available to us. i think you will see very different technologies. i think it will be a really interesting life for my children. >> china, let's talk about your upcoming trip. muhtar kent your opening comments about emerging anti- pollution movement. it has some similarities to what happened here in the u.s., if you go back to the 1960's and 1970's, and in response to these demonstrations, particularly the middle class saying, enough is enough, we do not want the river on fire and the pollution so dense we cannot see.
things i was struck by were the recent reports about the u.s. embassies monitoring equipment. the right to know is right to know. it does not matter what language it is an. people want to know. maybe you could talk a little bit about how information is helping to fuel this movement and ultimately the government changes. >> i went to beijing a few years ago, right after some head because epa had reported the installation of a monitor on u.s. soil in beijing at the embassy. we did it for the purpose of informing the embassy employees because people were worried about sending their kids to school. should they go out to play? how should they change behavior to ensure the kids were sufficiently protected? the air quality was getting worse. as a result, there were concerns because the information from the monitors was being treated.
it started to be understood the information was available and the general public in beijing started accessing the information. it did not exactly coincide with some information being collected from individual monitors in the city. there was a lot of concern raised and, it was very interesting. the result of it was i think, that china, and certainly -- they began to get very engaged in how they begin to monitor in real-time and begin to give people information. it was a motivating force, as well as a significant opportunity to look at whether they have the governmental structures in place to be able to address this, and do they know what the monitoring technology should be, and it opened up a lot of opportunities for folks, and the community very strong in supporting work to figure out how to align together and share technical as well as legal information. >> for those of you who do not follow this, these are tiny microscopic particles, you cannot cough or spit them out. they can lead to significant numbers of premature deaths in older americans.
they can lead to significant numbers of premature deaths in older americans. let me ask you a question. what is the greatest source? i assume it is the burning of all fossil fuel or diesel. >> particularly coal burning. china is faced with the challenge of having 1.3 billion people. 160 cities larger than one million people.
80% of somewhere in the vicinity of three quarters were 80% of their fossil fuel burning, is cold. -- coal. that happens at power plants as well as in industry. they are significant producers of steel and other sectors the u.s. no longer has, robust manufacturing in. they also have an abundance of coal, household cook stoves. and heating units, in those cities, which contribute significant amounts of pollution. the challenge is broad and deep in terms of what they will do with cities. our annual standard -- daily centered, 35 micrograms per cubic meter. they have registered as high as 900. goals are now to get down to the
similar levels which the u.s. indicate need to be phased down. the challenge is enormous and it is not just about power plants. it is about the industries and using as many creative mechanisms as they can, learning from our experience about how to get there. >> one of the issues there seems to have been some progress on in terms of our dialogue with china is around the hfc. i am curious about the other, short-lived, greenhouse gas pollutants, whether it is methane or greenhouse. do you see it is associated with the cook stoves -- do you see opportunities there? >> we do. we are exploring those. one of the reasons to get together is to look at what we have done and set a course for the next couple years.
we have been working with china on a range of things. black carbon, methane, as well as other traditional pollutants and co2. they have established aggressive standards for themselves on the co2. we have been working with them in the global methane initiative. they have been very active in the development of methane strategies for coal mines and agriculture, ways in which we can reduce our short- lived -- the president as well as the chairman have also signed an agreement all hfc's using the protocol. it is a long way from being done, but it is a good first step commitment. it is extremely important. those hfc's are very intense in terms of their global warming a potential. they are the one source continuing to escalate. they are basically substitutes for ozone depleting substances.
we need to get all countries, including india also working in china and the u.s. to tackle the issue. on black carbon, we are looking at diesel. diesel, diesel, diesel. much of the pollution in beijing in particular is diesel cars and diesel vehicles. multiple sources. the diesel now is 150. maybe more. maybe more. >> what are we at now? >> 15, going down. we are looking at opportunities for clean fuels. one of the things i am attending is an international conference committed to moving toward cleaner diesel. we are looking at engine standards and marine and heavy vehicles. there are opportunities -- they are doing regional planning. they are doing those plans and releasing them publicly.
they are doing them in a bunch of different areas like aging and shanghai, but also doing beijing and shanghai, but also doing them in city clusters. there is tremendous opportunity through that effort to start building the kind of infrastructure the u.s. had to look at our inventory, look at where the pollution is coming from, look at the opportunities and strategies. i am excited about that, and nobody else's, but we know they are significant building blocks. >> a couple of questions on china and then i will go back to domestic issues. one of the questions is nuclear energy. what do you see? is that an opportunity in china? what is your sense? they have a lot of people in need a lot of energy. >> they have certainly invested in nuclear.
i do not have a complete answer but i do know one of the stops i am making in shanghai, one of the most environmentally progressive cities in china. it will be exciting. i will get to see a lot of fun and feel -- energy-efficient skyscrapers and things like that. they had a proposal for a new nuclear facility that has become very controversial. since fukushima. it is really unclear what the dynamic will be in asia as well as europe about the prospect of a nuclear moving forward. >> the nuclear question has become collocated. complicated. as someone who was once not inclined, it is hard to have my position on climate and not be inclined. it is a clean source of energy. >> constructed in the u.s. >> how important is china to a 2015 international agreement?
we can maybe broaden this more. one of the things you hear frequently in congress is, why should we do something when the chinese are not doing anything? when india is not doing anything? when the developed world is not doing anything? >> that argument was brought up for the and -- with the endangerment finding. >> the scientific finding epa had to make the ford could start regulations. a scientific finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare, and that then leads you to have to regulate the pollutants that is dangerous, in this case, greenhouse gases. >> it has always been a question. it is a dance and the music is playing and somebody has to take the first step. i think we have been very clear all along this is a global answer that needs global solutions. we have a responsibility and we
will meet that. i think in a 2015 world, the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases need to be at the table. it is extremely important that china be with us and be aggressive and be supportive of establishing some goals we can all be proud of. >> let me move back to domestic issues. for those few who cannot see iny the back, we have a group of people in very bright colored t- shirts in the front row here. which, if you would move your hand, i can read the whole thing. can you -- no one is going to ask you to tell us what will happen. there is a process and it is important. can you explain the process a little bit? there has been a fair amount of confusion about the process. >> this tells us the keystone pipeline -- the process is where this is a pipeline that crosses the border into canada, it is a project being led by the
department of state, who does the environmental impact statement. they have produced an impact statement draft, as well as a revised traffic. epa's role in that is to comment on the environmental impact statement -- >> the comment on the state department draft. >> that is right. and make sure we raise issues related to environmental impacts associated with the project. right now, my understanding is we have been actively engaged with them in responding to those comments and are looking forward to commenting again when we approach the final. >> what happens is state takes all the comments, digests them, makes something public, let the outside world comment, and then takes that back in? >> epa's generally -- it is a
comment process. the important thing for epa is we just want them to get the analytics right. the state wants to. we have done this before and commented on these and we are having a good dialogue. the best thing is we are being asked to do what we always do and no more and no less. it has been a great process for us, one that has been very active. >> lets talk a little bit about natural gas. shale gas. epa has some responsibility for ensuring the safety, but does not have oversight responsibility for fracking. it is being left to the states. i think as a former state regulator, i can see some of the positives, but also understand the shortcomings.
it would require congress to change that. epa had the authority, the bush- cheney administration stripped the authority -- do you see a time when the authority could be reinstated? do you see the actual regulations staying at the state level? >> let me narrow the question for those who are not as familiar as you and i are about this. we still regulate diesel. used in fracking. >> explain to people how diesel is used. >> it is use it as a fracking fluid. >> we should expand what fracking is. we can back this way up. >> fracking is basically being used to open up cracks or fissures. you do that at high pressure putting in solutions that will open up cracks and hold them open, in order for gas to become available for extraction.
for the most part, it is a significant amount of water with hydro frack fluid that goes high pressure into shale. as a result of the emissions, which include methane, come up for a short time, during the well completion, which could be a three or 10 day time so it has air emissions and then there is also the water fluid that gets returned, that needs to be stored and exposed of -- disposed of appropriately. we still retain the right and responsibility to take a look at the volatile organic compounds. air emissions. we have issued rules that look at advancing green completions, and reducing voc's by getting
the methane by getting the well drilling process and capturing and reusing that. that has moved forward. that is an ongoing process where we have a good handle on technology and authority. what you're really referring to is basically the water quality challenges, which comes from making sure wells are properly constructed so that when the insertion of hydro fluid is done -- >> only in the epa would there be a word like hydro flak fluid. >> you know what i mean. it actually does not impact drinking water and it actually goes, most of the hydro- fracturing is done significant miles under the ground horizontally. it is a challenge for us and the states to understand how to
ensure that wells are being properly constructed. that drinking water is being protected, that we understand what is going in the ground. there are not always background samples done before and after for us to ensure there is no pollution contribution. it is a significant challenge and one that states are trying to get a handle on. they are beginning to be more aggressive in state regulation , even in states you would not think would be aggressive but are. colorado and wyoming have already regulated and they are regulating more as a result of concern. pennsylvania has issued regulations. there are a number of them. we are trying to support the states in this effort, knowing our authority is limited but also recognizing that developing some kind of uniform standard is very difficult given different
geologys and uses of water, different aquifers. if we can support the states in this effort, we want to. one of the major ways we're doing that is a significant research project. our office of research and development has 18 different studies ongoing. one of the most robust and transparent process that we have ever gone through four -- for peer review. we are polling those 18 studies together, working with some of the industries that will work with us to understand what is going on in the field, what the water quality challenges are, what the potential impacts are on water quality, and how best to address those. we are trying our best to support the states in the interim and develop the kind of science always necessary. >> it is hard for individual states to do that. if we had been sitting here five years ago, we would have been talking about the need to import natural gas.
it is a game change. one of the things i have been thinking about and a lot of other people are thinking about, is, how does this huge uptick in the amount of available natural gas -- we are seeing it now in transportation and maybe we will see it in the long haul. what does it mean for the entire transition towards clean energy? you spoke so eloquently about that earlier. are we building an infrastructure in the same way we built a coal infrastructure. it ended up lasting 50 or 60 years. do you think there is in any way the natural gas infrastructure will have impacts on further robust growth in the renewables efficiency?
>> it will all become a piece of it. one of the challenges i think we are facing is pipeline infrastructure on natural gas. many people have raised this issue. i think there is a need for investment in pipeline infrastructure for natural gas. methane is the major leak did leakage which from pipelines that are in the distribution system, because when you do them oil and gas drilling operation, the gas is not clean but it gets the larger pipelines -- what you're seeing is larger methane gas, which is money floating up. there are opportunities for this to be an economically beneficial conversation to have with investors and with the industry itself. but it will be part of, i think, a larger vision for how this country will integrate its
renewables and gas infrastructure, with what we know to be continued reliance on coal. we know the transition is going to be a long one. but it is one where, right now, my job is not to did they energy -- not to dictate energy markets or energy futures. it is to get at pollution. the pollution i am looking at is traditional pollution, as well as carbon. natural gas being abundant has been a game changer in our ability to really move forward with pollution reductions that have been very hard to get our arms around for many decades. >> we are about out of time. i want to ask one last question. adaptation and resiliency. three years ago, i refused to use the words. my basic view is we needed to reduce the omissions and start talking about adaptation and
resiliency was in some ways to give up. the reality is we have to talk about it now. i do not know -- epa probably does not have a regulatory arm on this one, but can you talk a little bit -- you come from a part of the country, you probably see impacts probably earlier than other parts. >> it is funny i was where you were as well in terms of wanting to focus on mitigation first. i believe adaptation, and i know the president does, is enormously important to address. it is an immediate safety issue. it is an enormous economic think. the prices of responses to large disasters was $120 billion nobody planned for. it is a lot of off budget planning to have to accommodate. one of the things i have come to
realize is that we know climate change is real. the science is there. but i honestly think if you start working on adaptation and resilience issues, community by community, with mayors that are being really aggressive on these issues, it not only makes alive for people, in a way our lofty destruction of science in china does not make it, for communities across the u.s., and it also brings to light the fact the actions you need to take to address climate can be important stepping stones for local economies, for job growth, also for water issues that have been so plaguing us, about building infrastructure of water and wastewater, where we cannot always just support that from a public health funding situation, it needs to be invested in by the private and public sector at every level.
there is opportunities for green infrastructure, which we know science is telling us to get away from those big types -- pipes and keep water local, make your cities more beautiful, that is the best solution to the environment. i would have given my left arm to make that speech 20 years ago. i now have a place to make it. we will be shouting all over the place about climate resilience. it is important to make climate come alive. >> i feel like i am coming back to water because i think when you think about particularly resiliency and adaptation, the opportunities to really think about water and think about it in some smart ways. nature is good. it will help itself if we just get out of the way and let it.
one of the greatest proposals i saw, i do not think it worked out as well as one might've hoped, was mayor bloomberg's offer to help relocate people out of the floodplains. because when the floods come, nature can absorb it and you can save some other parts. we will see a lot of those sorts of efforts. it is at the local level. what can the mayor and local community do? i think adaptation and resiliency is the opposite side of the same coin. things are going to change and resiliency is how quickly can you respond and recover from an impact. part of that is, have you adapted? >> we are working with the conference of mayors pretty closely. you know mayors. they are movers and shakers. they do not have the luxury of being insulated from their constituents. they cannot sit in washington and not be fully accountable to making change when change is
needed. they have 1200 mayors that of -- that have already signed the climate pledges. these are not public servants. -- they are mayors. they are public servants. to figure out how we support that effort and get actions moving. i know people across the administration are really invested in working together on the adaptation issue, because it is pretty heartbreaking when you see the kinds of disasters we just keep lining up week after week after week. we need to face it together as a country, community by community. >> final question. are you optimistic we will get this right? >> very optimistic that we will do absolutely everything in our power to do that. i have leadership at our highest levels to do this. i have people in the agency who
you know, who are the most talented, dedicated bunch of people. we will not do it in a vacuum. we will bring the public along will have the public drive our decisions the way it should be in a democracy. i am pretty pumped. >> it has been wonderful to have you here at the center for american progress. we wish you well on your trip. we wish you well in your domestic journey to put in place strong requirements to reduce carbon pollution. thank you for your public service. [applause] >> please depart in any of the side or back doors. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] up, the capitol christmas tree lighting and president obama's remarks on the health care law.
>> as you walk in, there are tables with lots of pamphlets. they are all how the government is trying -- how your government is trying to take away your rights to own guns. those were the guys i wanted to talk to. they were the guys with the leaflets and the ideas. i said -- they said who are you. i said i am an academic and i am doing research on these organizations and ideas, trying to understand that the guys. i study men who believe this stuff. you lookedthem said at me suspiciously, asked me questions. here's my job. i want to understand how you guys see the world.
i want to understand that your worldview. you will not convince me. i will not convince you. that is off the table. i want to understand why you think the way you do. >> downward mobility. "angry whitel on men." part of book tv this weekend on c-span 2. gatheredmembers tuesday for the annual christmas tree lighting ceremony. the tree came from the colville national forest in washington state.
united states marine band. let's give them a hand. [applause] behind me stands the u.s. capitol christmas tree. state's c washington olville national forest. [applause] in keeping with tradition, the honorable john boehner will extend his holiday greeting to you and officially like this tree in a few moments. before we get to that big moment, let me welcome members of congress and our distinguished guests. our capitol hill neighbors and those that may be visiting our neighbor -- our nation's capital. welcome and thank you for
joining us this evening. theuld like to acknowledge members from washington state delegation in attendance tonight, including jim mcdermott and doc hastings. welcome. this tree has been decorated with thousands of handmade ornaments crafted i the residents and citizens of washington state which reflect this year's theme, sharing washington's good nature. year, a beautiful ornament is produced to place upon the tree. this year's ornament features the statue of freedom. it was 150 years ago on december, second -- on december
2, 1863 that the final section of the statue was put into place. it is only fitting that this year's ornament commemorate this noteworthy milestone in our capitol building's history. to introduce the president of the capitol historical society, ron. [applause] >> thank you very much. it is a pleasure to present a pleasure to present ornament this year of the statue of freedom. out ofatue is made pieces of the marble they came off the steps of the capitol. the steps relay between 1863 and 1865. they were removed in 1995. , cast,been ground up
resin is added. steve, if you would add this to the tree, we would appreciate it. thank you. >> my pleasure. thank you for joining us this evening. for more than 40 years, the architect of the capitol has partnered to bring a christmas tree to the capital from one of our nation's 155 national forests. like to thank the dedicated forest staff both here in lost -- here and in washington for making this possible. please give a round of applause. [applause]
asning us this evening christophe harden, deck you -- deputy secretary for the u.s. agricultural department. she has a message to share with all of you. >> thank you. and thank you for attending this event. -- thehonoring a special capital christmas tree is the people's tree. it has been a tradition for over four decades, as you have heard. to me, the tree is a symbol of our natural resources. it connects all americans to our national forest. it reminds us that -- of the importance of a blog service, stewardship, and the restoration of national forest land.
tall, 79 is 88 feet years old, and it was blessed before it was harvested by the elders of a tribe. -- iters over 5000 miles covered over 5000 miles to get here today. of the tree has been covered by private donations. forest service and its partners provide the tree. the ornaments and smaller command in -- companion trees are gifts from the state of washington. thank you for being here. happy holidays to all. manner --again to the the many donors and sponsors who helped bring the street to the front yard of our national capital.
you helped make this a truly remarkable event. thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much. as you noted, this tree has been on a tremendous yearning. it traveled 5000 miles across the country from washington just and showed up here eight days ago. our grounds crew commenced planting the tree and decorating it. didn't they do a fantastic job? [applause] recognize our superintendent of capital ground who had the difficult task of selecting this tree out of many useful trees found in the colville national forest. next, it is my honor to recognize members of the
washington state delegation. program, one of our guests scheduled to be with us she had her third child, so she will not be with us. it is my pleasure to introduce doc hastings. since 1995.erving a member of the natural resources committee, he has a special interest in federal land , including national forests, parks, and monuments. given his expertise, i am sure he will have great things to say about this magnificent tree. congressman hastings? [applause] thank you very much.
welcome to all of you here tonight. especially to those washingtonians who traveled from that washington to this washington to celebrate this. is from a place not our far from the place that --ss that could not be here guessed that could not be here grew up. this tree reflects the people and the spirit of our great state of washington. it is a state where people look out for their neighbors, where communities come together and
where we appreciate and admire the great outdoors. to representnor the people of central washington from the organ border to the tuning -- the oregon border to the canadian border. i also were present a committee that oversees activity on federal land, including the forest this tree came from. seeing this tree from washington state is a reminder of how lucky spectacularve national forests across our land. it also points to the importance of keeping our forests healthy. support thousands of american jobs. they help keep our air and water clean. they create countless opportunities for recreation and supply families each year with our beautiful christmas trees. washington state is blessed with
an abundance of natural resources. it is part of who we are. , through the street, we get to share a part of who we are with the rest of this country. recognize all the ians who came together to make this possible. from those that cut the tree down to those that transported destination and to the children who made more than 500,000 ornaments -- 5000 ornaments to decorate the tree. thank you all for your hard work. the 49th marks anniversary of the capital christmas tree. i can think of no better way to celebrate this event than with this magnificent spruce from me
colville national forest. jim comes from a different part of washington. i am almost sure he has no national forest. constituents that by these christmas trees from our national forests. jim mcdermott. [applause] >> thank you very much. when i came to washington in 1988, tom foley was the speaker on he said there is a seat the natural resources committee that has to be filled by somebody from washington. you are it. i started my whole career looking over the national forests.
the capital is the home of our democracy. everyone can come and see where it started. it is a great day when washington gets to pick its own tree. as far as i know, this is the tallest tree that has ever been here. is the tallest. i think before that it was 86. it is a memorial day if you wish. this tree was blessed before it them fornd we thank that. the forest service keeps these trees safe. they work hard at making it a resource that not only is beautiful and enjoyed by people in terms of walking in a forest,
but also deals with the environment. the absorption of carbon dioxide by these trees is a part of our defense against global warming. that theonderful thing pacific northwest is blessed by this. some people say it rains in seattle, doesn't it? yes, it rains in seattle, but we get trees like this. there is always a bright side to the clouds. it is an honor to be able to share this piece of our stay with you. congress has earned a reputation for not being able to play nice with one another, but doc is a republican and i am a democrat. this shows it is possible to do something nice together. it was a pleasure working with dock. our -- with doc.
our country is united on many matters. justice, freedom, caring for our seniors, giving our children a better future. chris's is really about children. it is about a new child that came into the -- christmas is really about children. it is about a new child that came into the world and it is a symbol and a model of what we hope our children will get. they will learn to preserve the things that are great and learn to take care of their families. i hope this tree will remind us call to feed the the the needy.
it is a tree that reminds us of that. lit, you should think about that. we thank him for his sacrifice for the service of all of those who have helped to make this country great and teach our children who serve our poor, feed our children parent we're lucky -- children. we are lucky to live in this country. the values of christmas are the values of not only washington state, but of america. thank you for letting us share this piece of our state with you , for allowing us to represent what this holiday means to our country and to keep alive the hope of peace on earth and goodwill toward men. thank you. [applause]
>> thank you so much, congressman mcdermott. me me interest use -- let introduce to you who will be singing "it's the most wonderful time of the year. -- time of the year." ♪ it's the most wonderful time of the year. with the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you be a good cheer. it is the most wonderful time of the year. hap-happiest season of all.
greetings and a gay happy meetings. hapiest season of all. be parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, and caroling out in the snow. there will be scary ghost stories and tales of the glory of christmases long long ago. it's the most wonderful time of the year. there will be much mistletoing when loved ones are here. it's the most wonderful time of the year. it's the most wonderful time -- it is the most wonderful time of the year. ♪
[applause] notebusters, that was fabulous. thank you very much. introduceleasure to john boehner. he has served the people of the eighth district of ohio since 1990 and in january 2011 became the 53rd speaker of the house of representatives. he carries on the tradition begun in 1964 of lighting this capital christmas tree. gentlemen, the honorable john boehner. [applause] >> good evening. welcome to the united states capital.
give a big congratulations for a job well done. i want to thank ron sarisan and doc hastings and the washington delegation for their presence here tonight and i want to thank the forest service for the job that they have done. let me say to the young people who spoke, great job. a lot better than if i were singing. if you look up at this awe- inspiring dome and you look up at the night sky, you'll get overwhelmed. perhaps this is just as those humble shepherds were when the angels appeared before them. out of the middle of nowhere, they must have wondered what on earth is going on. fear not, the angel said, for
behold, i bring you good tidings of great joy. born this day in the city of david, a savior, which is christ the lord. off they went to find him in the manger. this may be an old story but a mighty one to grasp. it takes great faith, it takes true patience, much like the search for the perfect president itself. we come to recognize it is not so much about the telling of the story as it is about the serving of the story. what emerges is a spirit of giving and a message of hope for all seasons. glory to god in the highest and on earth, peace and goodwill toward men. that in the words of a great philosopher is what christmas is all about, charlie brown. so now, it is time to light the tree so we can all go back
inside before everyone gets too cold. this year, our special tree lighting expert is a first grader in colville, washington. ladies and gentlemen, escorted by the u.s. capitol police chief, please join me in welcoming giovanni gainer. [applause] so, you may not know this, but we require all of our tree lighters to have some special qualifications. now, as i understand it, when you grow up, you want to be a police officer. the chief and i were talking and if it is ok with you, we would like to make you a junior capitol hill police officer for today. so chief, if you will put the
>> isn't the tree beautiful, ladies and gentlemen? let me thank you for coming and joining us tonight and joining speaker john boehner, the washington state congressional delegation, the forest service, the terrific marine band, and all of us for this year's tree lighting ceremony. thank you. merry christmas and have a good evening. [applause] >> on the next washington journal, jim mcdermott talks about the health care law and the latest on the congressional budget negotiation. hunter will discuss the recent deal with iran over its nuclear program. later, the recent launch of political magazine and the
relationship with president obama's cabinet and his aides. 7:00 a.m. onurnal, c-span. c-span. we bring public affair events from washington to you. putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, and conferences. we offer complete gavel-to-gavel coverage of the u.s. house, all as a public service of private industry. tvpan, created by the cable industry 34 years ago and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. you can watch us in hd. now, remarks from president obama on the implementation on the health care law and the healthcare.gov website. he spoke for about 15 minutes from the eisenhower executive office building. my name is monica weeks. when i was a 19-year-old college
student, i began having symptoms of -- disease. later, my symptoms returned and i had to start costly infusions. they ranged from $12,000 to $15,000. it would have been more to receive them in a hospital. because of the affordable care act, i remained on my parent's insurance. years old and working at a great organization that affords me the benefit of having my own insurance. lucky, but notm every american is as lucky as i am. we have discussed the cost of private insurance and we all agree that we'd not be able to afford a given our current salaries. i would have paid $700 to $800
per month because of my health condition and because i am a woman. this gives me the flexibility to open my own small business and pursue photography as a viable career option without worrying about how i will afford health insurance. thank you and now it is my honor to introduce the president of the united states, barack obama. [applause] >> all right. thank you, monica. >> thanks for everybody out there who cares deeply about this issue. monica's story is important because for all the day-to-day fights here in washington around the affordable care act, it's stories like hers why we took on this fight in the first place. for too long, working families
were more vulnerable to the anxieties of today's economy than a broken health care system. we took up the fight because we believe that in america, nobody should have to worry about going broke just because somebody in their family or they got sick. we believe that nobody should have to choose between putting food on their kid's table or taking them to see a doctor. we believe we are a better country than a country where we allow, every day, 14,000 americans to lose their health care coverage or where tens of thousands of americans die because they didn't have health care, or where out of pocket costs drove people into poverty. we thought we were better than that and that's why we took this on. [applause]
and that's what has gotten lost a little bit over the last couple of months. and our focus had to shift towards working 24/7 to fix the web site, healthcare.gov where people can buy affordable insurance plans. and today, the web site is working well. more problems may pop up, as they always do when you are launching something new and when they do, we'll fix those, too. but what we know that just after the first month, despite all the problems in the rollout, about half a million people across the country are poised to gain health care coverage in marketplaces and medicaid on january 1, some for the very first time. we know that. [applause]
and that number is increasing every day and it's going to keep growing and growing and growing because we know there are 41 million people out there without health insurance and we know there are a whole bunch of folks out there who are underinsured and we know the demand is there and we know the product on these marketplaces are good and provides choice and competition for people that allow them, in some cases for the very first time, to have the security that health insurance can provide. you know, the bottom line is, this law is working and will work into the future. people want the financial stability of health insurance and we're going to keep on working to fix whatever problems come up in any start-up, any launch of a product this big that has an impact of 1/6 of our economy. whatever comes up, we're going to fix it, because we know that the ultimate goal, the ultimate
there will be a lifetime cap on benefits. i can't tell you much that peace of mind means. that is what the affordable care act means to julia. already does not have to on -- sam weir, a dr. north carolina e-mailed me. my family and i draw strength knowing that the preventative care will be covered in the seennts we have not yet will finally be able to get the coverage they need. that is the difference the affordable care act will make.
pay.co- because of the affordable care act, seniors have saved an average of $1200 on their medicines.n 8.5 million families have gotten money back from their insurance companies. you don't hear that very often. it's been too much on things like overhead and not enough on care. [laughter] . [applause] what this means to millions of americans. today is that we are not going back. going to betray
monica or julia or sam or justine or joann. [applause] that seems to be the only alternative that obamacare's critics have. let's go back to the status care -- status quo. if you ask the opponents what they would do differently, their be let's go back to the way things used to be. what benefits would people seek fromalth care this law? he refused to answer. he just repeated repeal over and over again. obviously we have heard that folks on that side of the aisle. i have always said that i will work with anybody to implement and improve this law effectively.
if you have good ideas, bring them to me. let's go. but we are not killing it as long as i am president. -- repealing it as long as i am president. [applause] we will make it work for all americans. [applause] despite the millions of people who are benefiting, if you still bad idea, law is a you have to tell us specifically what you would do differently to cut cost, cover more people, make insurance more secure. you can't just say the system for 41 million people without health insurance. you can't just say that the works when you have a
whole bunch of folks who thought insurance andt then when they thought they have insurance, it was not there for sick.hen i got or there were left with costs out-of-pocket left for them to pay. doingnow, what the law is folks and we are just getting started with the exchanges. if i have to fight another three years to make sure this law works, that is what i will do. [applause] what is important for everybody remember is not only that the law has already helped millions people, but that there are millions more who stand to be helped. we need to make sure they know that.
our poor execution in the first couple of months on the website the fact that there are a whole bunch of people who stand to benefit. the website is working for the vast majority of people, we need to make sure that folks on what is at stake your. capacity for you or your families to be able to have the security of decent health insurance at a reasonable cost with choice and competition on this marketplace and tax credits that you may be eligible for that can save you hundreds of dollars in premium costs every month potentially. we just need people to go back and take a look at what is going on. it can make a difference in your lives and the lives of your families.
maybe it will make a difference healthy,are feeling but i promise you if somebody in forbid get heaven sick, you will see the difference. it will make all the difference you and your families. i am going to need some help in word.ing the i am going to need some help in word -- about the law, about its benefits, about its protections, about how folks up.sign dol your friends, family -- not let initial problems with the website discourage you. it is working better now and it is going to keep on working better over time. sure diet check to make that it is working better -- day i check to make sure it is working better. we have learned not to make wild purpose --out how smooth this will be at all
times. have healthdy insurance or you have taken advantage of the affordable care act, you have to tell your friends, your family, your coworkers, your neighbors -- our fellow americans get covered. let's give every american a fighting chance in today posse, me. thank you so much everybody. god bless you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
>> a couple of health care hearings on capitol hill today. loteffect the health care a would have on the medicare advantage program. on c-span 3, the business committee holds a hearing of the employee mandate of the health care law. that begins at 1:00 p.m. eastern. coming up this hour, congressman jim mcdermott will talk about law and theare congressional budget negotiations. duncan hunter will discuss the recent deal with iran over its nuclear program. and the recent launch of
politico magazine. washington journal is next. >> president obama launches a push forc-relations healthcare.gov. republicans will continue to law,tigate the health care holding for hearings today on its rollout. the white house is coming under pressure to hold someone under accountable for the failures. republicans,